En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 30, 2005

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Ferns, Grasses or Grass-like, Shrubs
Title: Suggestions for Texas native plants for memorial
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus


A dear friend of ours has passed and we would like some ideas of a native Texas plant we could plant in memory of her. It will be grown in the hill region near Houston. Thank you.


Most cemeteries have some landscaping guidelines so the first thing you need to learn is whether there are guidelines, or restrictions, about what you can plant there. The Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) sounds like a good candidate for your site. You might want to consider one of the more compact, dwarf varieties, such as 'Silverado'(tm). Another possibility for a native evergreen shrub is the wax myrtle (Morella cerifera). There are also dwarf wax myrtle varieties.

You might also consider a perennial native bunch grass such as Gulf muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris). In the fall it turns a beautiful feathery pink and tolerates being cut back occasionally. Another attractive native clump grass, inland sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), might also be a possibility.

For an evergreen plant that isn't a bush or grass you might consider the native cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea).


More Shrubs Questions

Problems with transplanting cenizo in Weatherford TX
September 29, 2009 - I tried to transplant a Silverado Sage into a large pot but within 1 day it started wilting. Could it be the soil? I used potting soil not soil from the ground which is a sandy soil.
view the full question and answer

Sophora seeds to give away
April 13, 2016 - When we moved to TX years ago we bought a mountain laurel so we could have the beautiful purple flowers and were disappointed when the flowers every year were white (with a few purple ones here and th...
view the full question and answer

Agarita suggestion for Houston area
March 05, 2013 - Another possible plant for the following question is agarita. The question: "Looking for a very, very, thorny three or four foot tall shrub for in front of windows to deter break-ins. Considering Ro...
view the full question and answer

Wind and erosion tolerant plants from Austin
August 05, 2013 - I recently cleared a fire break by removing cedar from around my home in West Austin. I'd like to plant the exposed NW facing slope with native shrubs and trees. Looking for selections that can wit...
view the full question and answer

Do female possumhaws require male to bloom?
January 02, 2009 - Do female possumhaws require a male nearby to bloom? I've read that about yaupon hollies, but not possumhaws specifically. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center